Early ratings estimates for Vice's new TV channel are out, and they don't look good

Ellen page gaycation viceViceActress Ellen Page stars on Viceland’s ‘Gaycation.’

Vice launched a TV channel at the end of February amid a lot of media commotion, along with hype from the company itself.

Vice CEO Shane Smith proclaimed in a wide-ranging and expletive-laden interview with the Hollywood Reporter about the cable network, Viceland, “12 months from now we’ll be on the cover of Time magazine as the guys who brought millennials back to TV.”

As of now at least, that doesn’t quite seem to be the case. Though it should be said that Viceland is very new and still trying to cultivate an audience, the first peek into the ratings reveals that viewership is far below what the previous channel it replaced, H2 (the History Channel offshoot), got.

International Business Times obtained ratings data from Rentrak, a company that measures media consumption, which show average daily viewership of Viceland in its first three weeks is a steep 77 per cent lower than H2’s viewership over the last three weeks of its existence.

During those same time periods, H2 averaged about 241,000 viewers a day. Meanwhile, Viceland averaged only 55,000 viewers a day.

So far there are no available ratings for Viceland from Nielsen, which is the industry standard, because Vice has declined to release those numbers publicly for at least six months while the network is getting going. Rentrak pulls data from a sample of 17 million homes, but Nielsen provides more precise demographic information.

Vice called the numbers from Rentrak “inaccurate.”

Bloomberg reported that Viceland’s programming, which includes shows like “Weediquette” and “Gaycation,” is actually more popular on YouTube and Vice’s site than on the channel itself.

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